Another week, another miserable loss for Texas where we were never really in the game. But I'm going to try to avoid dwelling on that and talk about the real, live, actual football being played by other teams in the conference.
Missouri vs. K-State and Baylor vs. a resurgent Texas A&M were the two best games this week (probably the only time you've ever read that in your life), and both games were pretty solid with the Tigers and Aggies coming out on top. God, what a terribly boring sentence. Even my writing skills are being tarnished by the product UT is putting on the field.
Whatever, onward to the games after the jump!
Missouri-38 (8-2, 4-2)
Kansas State-28 (6-4, 3-4)
The Skinny: Kansas State kept this game close early, but I felt like Mizzou was in control pretty much the entire contest. The Tigers went on a torrid streak defensively where I believe they turned Kansas State over on three straight plays, including a defensive touchdown to spark what should have been a blowout-the final score should have been closer to 38-14 but KSU got some garbage scores when the game was already over.
A few interesting observations I'd like to point out: Kansas State has probably one offensive player that would even get on the field for Texas, and that's Daniel Thomas. The rest of their offense is, well, by far the least talented in the league. But they were able to consistently move the ball on Missouri for much of the day. Their offensive line plays hard and is physical every play, their WRs hold their blocks well, and their two non-FBS level QBs are gritty and fight for every yard while being repeatedly crashed into the first and second levels of the defense. They control the game as best they can, play to their offensive strengths, and have a specific gameplan in mind that they go into each and every game with. The actual offense is pretty pitiful and should literally be one of the easiest to stop in the country, but I love how much they get out of what little they have.
Second, there was a weird play on one of KSU's TD drives where they came up a yard short on third down, as in the ref spotted the ball a yard short of the chains (I was on the exact line in the stands so I had a perfect angle), and the head referee just GAVE the Wildcats the first down. No measurement, even though it was plain to the naked eye that the play was short and the spot was short, and yet they just move the chains for no reason. I've never seen anything like it and even USC doesn't get that kind of favoritism. Weird...
Big Man On Campus: The Missouri defensive end foursome of Aldon Smith, Jacquies Smith, Michael Sam, and Brad Madison, who combined for four sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries, including one by J. Smith for a 53-yard touchdown.
Colorado-34 (4-6, 1-5)
Iowa State-14 (5-6, 3-4)
The Skinny: Hope abounds in Boulder as interim coach Brian Cabral won his first game as head coach of the Buffs. I didn't think CU would get a conference win this year after blowing a lead against KU, but it looks like all it took was a head coach not named Dan Hawkins to right the ship-for now. The Cyclones couldn't stop Colorado through the air, as apparently Cody Hawkins does better without the stress of having his father as a head coach.
Apparently the Buffs are interested in Mark Richt as a head coach and a reporter even asked him about it at the post-game press conference of the Auburn loss. For what it's worth, Richt said "Georgia's my home." For now, Mark, for now. I can see a wide spectrum of opinions on this one, ranging from "Richt is over CU's head" to "He's a perfect fit" to "Why expect a guy who can't produce with Georgia's endless resources and talent to produce with Colorado's very limited resources and talent?" Personally, I think it would be an interesting hire for the Buffs in trying to turn their program around, and a big-name coach and recruiter is probably exactly what they're looking for. Another name that has been bandied about (per ESPN) is former Oregon Ducks coach Mike Bellotti, who at the least would make CU hellah fun to watch. The situation kind of reminds me of what happened with Texas Tech and Tommy Tuberville.
Big Man On Campus: The Hawk got the axe, but Hawk, Jr. had perhaps his best game as a Buff, throwing for 266 yards on 16/24 passing with three TDs and no picks.
Oklahoma-45 (8-2, 4-2)
Texas Tech-7 (5-5, 3-5)
The Skinny: I think OU has the best homefield advantage in college football. I've never been to that version of Memorial Stadium, but the disparity between their performances on the road and their performances at home is by far the biggest in the country. They're just not a great road team and they're practically unstoppable at home.
Ryan Broyles isn't the best receiver ever to play for OU, but he sure is up there. Homeboy just broke the OU career record for receptions AND touchdowns in one game.
Kevin Wilson's fast-paced and balanced offense relies on short and secure passes, outside runs, and basically exerting a huge talent advantage both up front and at the skill positions to overwhelm a defense, control the clock, and keep the other offense off the field (while scoring, of course). If that sounds like a relatively exhaustive list of offensive goals, congratulations, you have a firm understanding of the purpose of having possession of the football. Please send notice to alert Greg Davis as to these same purposes.
Big Man On Campus: Broyles broke the records and had his typical 100-yard receiving game, but the real star was QB Landry Jones, who threw for 22/29 and 319 yards and five scores, with no picks.
Nebraska-20 (9-1, 5-1)
Kansas-3 (3-7, 1-5)
The Skinny: Another weird Nebraska game where they are playing a completely overmatched opponent, don't get up for the game, and score about 20 points less than they should have. KU is awful on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense where they accumulated a mind-blowing 87 total yards of offense. I think Nebraska has a really hard time getting up for low-level games, at least on offense. Regardless, you know Big Red are still kicking themselves for losing to what is looking more and more like the worst Texas team in the modern era of college football, likely costing them a BCS title birth.
Big Man On Campus: Anytime a defense limits an opponent to 87 total yards, they are the unequivocal BMOC. Such a defense exists in Lincoln, so give credit where credit is due. Even more impressive is that they did that while only forcing one turnover. That's just absolute lockdown.
Baylor-30 (7-4, 4-3)
Texas A&M-42 (7-3, 4-2)
The Skinny: The Aggies got down 30-14 midway through the second quarter, but were able to fight back late in the half to cut the Bears' lead to 30-21 before shutting out Baylor in the second half and racking up three TDs of their own to win by 12. This was a pretty exciting game, as the teams combined for 940 yards on offense.
Like to give a holler to Cyrus Gray, who seems to have remade himself this year, particularly since the loss of Christine Michael to injury. Gray looks quicker, faster, more elusive, and generally more talented than in past years. In fact, his current manifestation bears startling resemblance to a certain 2012 running back of the same surname that Texas is in dire need of.
Big Man On Campus: Gray grinded out 137 yards on 28 carries, including four touchdowns (three in the second half), to overcome a strong Baylor offensive showing of 503 yards.
Texas-16 (4-6, 2-5)
Oklahoma State-33 (9-1, 5-1)
The Skinny: I'm not going to deign to spend too much time on Texas, as the entire team and coaching staff has checked out like Kobe Bryant after a messy encounter in a Colorado hotel room, but there are a few things I'd like to touch on about this game.
First and foremost is Dana Holgorsen. As Sunkist would say, "Gimme." We have some good recruits like Malcolm Brown, Christian Westerman, Jaxon Shipley, etc., errr, well, hopefully coming in on the offensive side of the ball next year, but if we go after Holgorsen in the offseason, he immediately becomes the most important part of our "recruiting class." The guy is just absolutely brilliant. If you haven't already seen it, check out this to see stuff like multiple options on a single play and reading individual defenders. I know, I know, it's scary and foreign, but A) don't be a xenophobe and B) don't be afraid of innovation. Holgorsen absolutely tore us apart when he wanted to, and the score would have been much, much worse if he hadn't called off the dogs in the second half. His screen game is almost unstoppable, and he does a great job of knowing when to go deep off play action and when to just move the chains. He also turned two relatively lackluster receivers in Bowling and Cooper into very good players, not to mention turning a decent receiver in Blackmon into the most prolific receiver in the country and a future first-round draft pick. I can only hope Holgorsen had the foresight to hand Mack a copy of his resume at halftime, just in case the 24-point second quarter didn't make a profound enough impression in Mack's mind.
The other thing that is a perfect indicator of the state of things right now-A.J. Williams getting beat deep for a score for the first time all season. Yes, he's concussed, and that's a part of what I'm talking about. It seems like literally every player on our defense has been hurt or is hurt, which doesn't bode well when you're not tuned in to the game 100%. It also showed just how good Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon are, because Aaron had about as solid of coverage as you could ask for and still gave up the TD that opened up the floodgates. Perfect pass, perfect catch, and you have to be wary of that all day long against Holgorsen.
Big Man On Campus: I know you're tired of my kissing Holgorsen's ass, so I'm not going to give him the BMOC, but I am going to give it to the entire OSU offense. They beat us up and down the field all day long and won the trench battle with minimal effort. It's just too hard to account for all the pieces they have on offense, which didn't allow Muschamp to bring pressure, thus giving Weeden all day to throw or Hunter an infinite amount of running lanes.
Both divisions have one-loss teams at the top and two-loss teams right behind them, but the difference is OU still gets a shot at Okie State, while Nebraska has already pummeled Mizzou. Somehow, Texas A&M remains alive for the Big 12 South title, although their next game is an extremely interesting affair at home against Nebraska. If OU beats OSU in the Bedlam game, there will be a three-way tie for the South crown (A&M beat OU, Okie State beat A&M) that should result in OU advancing due to a higher BCS ranking. Regardless, A&M seems to be solidly headed in the right direction for next season, with all of their skill position players returning (assuming Jeff Fuller doesn't go pro), a more experienced offensive line, and a defense that has had another offseason under Tim DeRuyter.
Kansas gets the nod over CU by basis of a recent head-to-head victory, although I wouldn't argue with the Buffs being ahead after their spanking of Iowa State.
Texas gets last position in the Big 12, because I honestly believe we are currently the worst team in the conference. We scored three points against a very, very poor Cowboy defense before they let us have a few gimme touchdowns in the fourth quarter. If you'd like to dispute that position, please provide some form of evidence or statistics instead of just flaming me.
Thanks for reading and let's hope we can get this thing turned around this offseason, not 10 years from now.
1. Nebraska Cornhuskers
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys
3. Oklahoma Sooners
4. Missouri Tigers
5. Texas A&M Aggies
6. Baylor Bears
7. Kansas State Wildcats
8. Iowa State Cyclones
9. Texas Tech Red Raiders
10. Kansas Jayhawks
11. Colorado Buffaloes
12. Texas Longhorns (ugh)